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Mother Flygon was a popular deck archetype in the Pokémon TCG through the second half of the '08-'09 and into the '09-'10 Organized Play seasons. Mother Flygon placed highly in many tournaments, including the 2009 Pokémon TCG World Championships. The deck's strategy centers around getting an active Flygon out with three energies attached, along with at least one Claydol and one Nidoqueen on the bench. The other bench spaces should be filled with as many evolved Pokémon as possible, so Flygon is able to do heavy damage with its Power Swing attack.
As is the case with most deck archetypes, the exact origin of the deck is unknown. Soon after the Rising Rivals expansion was released, many players immediately recognized Flygon's potential as an attacker and began attempting to combine it with a variety of supporting Pokémon, including Hippowdon LV.X and Secret Wonders Weavile. However, the combination most often successful was with Nidoqueen. Nidoqueen's Poké-BODY, Maternal Comfort, was extremely useful for a Pokémon as bulky as Flygon, and Nidoqueen could also be a strong attacker in a pinch.
The deck placed highly in a number of tournaments, including the 2009 United States National Championships, the 2009 Last Chance Qualifier, and the subsequent 2009 World Championships. It continued to be a prominent deck through the 2009-2008 TCG season, although it was overshadowed by the dominance of SP decks such as LuxChomp.
, the deck's main attacker
Mother Flygon is widely regarded as the best setup deck in the current format. Because of its abnormally large support engine in the form of a 3-3 Claydol line, as opposed to the typical 2-2, and its ability to utilize four Call Energy, Mother Flygon can set up considerably faster than most Stage-2-reliant decks in the format. Speed is necessary to compete with fast decks such as SP variants.
The ideal start in Mother Flygon is a Trapinch with a Call Energy, and some form of getting a Claydol out of the deck, such as a Bebe's Search. In reality, although Trapinch is ideal so as not to waste an energy attachment, any Pokémon in combination with a Call Energy is a good start. This way, Trapinch (or whatever Pokémon the player starts with) can use Call Energy to get a Baltoy and a Nidoran♀ out of the deck, which he or she can then evolve the next turn. Another option is to get two Baltoy out of the deck with Call Energy, to open up the possibility for two Claydol turn two.
Once the player has at least one Claydol out, he or she should focus on getting a Flygon active and charged as soon as possible, with a bench full of evolved Pokémon. This way, Flygon can attack for maximum damage with its Power Swing attack.
- Flygon is the decks' main attacker and, as such, arguably its most critical component. Flygon's main attack, Power Swing does 60 damage to the Defending Pokémon, plus an additional 10 damage for each evolved Pokémon on the Mother Flygon player's bench. With an Expert Belt attached, Power Swing can hit for a massive 130 damage for only , enough to knock out most Pokémon in the metagame in one shot. While Power Swing is a great brute force attack, Flygon's second attack, Sand Wall, can be very effective in certain situations. Sand Wall does 40 damage for , which would be unremarkable if not for its effect. If the opponent has a Stadium card in play, Sand Wall prevents all effects of attacks done to Flygon during the opponent's next turn and discards that Stadium. This is a great stall tactic, and can also provide decent power with Expert Belt attached. It also takes only one Double Colorless Energy to use, which means it can often be used immediately. Flygon's last important feature is its Rainbow Float Poké-BODY, which gives every Pokémon the Mother Flygon player controls free retreat, as long as Flygon has an Energy attached to it of the same type as that Pokémon. Nidoqueen has a massive retreat of , and Claydol has a retreat cost of , so in the event that either of those Pokémon are active, either to stall or attack, Rainbow Float ensures that they can get out of the active spot easily with no wasted energy attachment. Power Swing, Sand Wall, and Rainbow Float combine to make Flygon a well-rounded attacker.
- Nidoqueen - The main reason Nidoqueen is used is for its Maternal Comfort Poké-BODY. Maternal Comfort removes one damage counter from each of the Mother Flygon player's Pokémon between turns. Although it is a simple effect, it is extremely helpful in that it helps prevent Flygon and Claydol from being knocked out. Flygon is already able to tank fairly well, since it has a decent 120 HP, so a damage removal effect makes it even more difficult for the opponent to knock out. Since Flygon requires three energies to use its main attack, and often has Expert Belt attached, it is very beneficial to keep each Flygon in play for as long as possible. Additionally, with so many decks in the 2009-2010 metagame able to damage drawing support cards such as Claydol, Nidoqueen is a critical part in maintaining the ability to draw cards. Although it is primarily used for its Poké-BODY, Nidoqueen can also function as a solid attacker in a pinch. With Expert Belt attached, it can do 60 damage with Mega Punch for only , and up to 120 damage with its second attack, Ruthless Tail. Its Poké-BODY and all-around versatility make Nidoqueen a good complement to Flygon.
- Claydol - Although some decks can function without this staple card, Flygon, being a tremendous setup deck, is not one. With Flygon's strategy being so reliant on the ability to set up quickly, extra drawing support is extremely important, and Claydol provides that. Claydol's Cosmic Power Poké-POWER allows the Mother Flygon player to put up to two cards from their hand on the bottom of his or her deck and draw cards until he or she has six cards in hand. This is a very powerful effect, and it has made Claydol one of the most important cards to the metagame since its release in the Great Encounters set. Although Claydol can never function as a solid attacker due to its low HP and low damage capability, the fact that it is an evolved Pokémon allows it to contribute to Flygon's Power Swing attack.
- Flygon LV.X - Flygon LV.X is used primarily for certain matchups. It must be used with caution, because it gives Flygon a X2 weakness against Pokémon instead of its regular +30 weakness. However, Flygon LV.X can be used to score unexpected knockouts in a pinch. Although it has no additional attacks that simply damage the defending Pokémon, its Extreme Attack does 150 damage to any one of the opponent's Pokémon LV.X in play for . Since many decks in the current format, most notably SP decks, are highly dependent on Pokémon LV.X, this is very useful for scoring crippling knockouts in difficult situations. Additionally, Flygon LV.X's Poké-BODY, Wind Erosion, discards the top card of the opponent's deck between turns, possibly discarding key components of their strategy and/or bringing them close to a deck out, a win condition for the Mother Flygon player. Wind Erosion and Extreme Attack make Flygon LV.X a useful but not crucial part of Mother Flygon's strategy.
- Vibrava - Vibrava is primarily used in the deck to evolve into Flygon, but it has a very good attack in Energy Typhoon. For Energy Typhoon does 20 damage times the number of Energy cards in the opponent's discard pile. Against many decks, this can add up to be a tremendous unexpected knockout late in the game.
- Trapinch - Again, Trapinch is used in the deck to evolve into Flygon. However, it has two attacks that make it a halfway decent starting Pokémon. Inviting Trap, which costs , allows the player to switch out his opponent's Active Pokémon with one of his or her benched Pokémon. This can really disrupt the opponent's strategy early in the game, since it can force them to retreat and possibly waste multiple energy attachments. For , Trapinch's second attack, Sand Tomb does 10 damage and prevents the defending Pokémon from retreating during the opponent's next turn.
- Baltoy - Used to evolve into Claydol. If absolutely necessary, Baltoy can also be used to draw cards in a pinch with its Psychic Balance attack.
- Uxie - Uxie is a staple card in most decks, that can help Mother Flygon get set up quickly with its Set Up Poké-POWER, which allows the player to draw cards until they have seven cards in their hand. Before Claydol hits the field, Uxie can provide drawpower. However, since Uxie is a basic Pokémon and takes up a bench space that could be reserved for an evolved Pokémon, it should be used as little as possible in Mother Flygon. Having a benched basic Pokémon prevents Flygon's Power Swing attack from doing as much damage as it could otherwise.
- Unown G - Unown G is critical when playing against Mother Gengar, since it can protect benched Claydol from being targeted by Gengar's Shadow Room attack. It also prevents Basic Pokémon from being knocked out by Machamp's Take Out attack, in addition to stopping a number of other metagame decks reliant on effects other than damage.
- Bebe's Search - Simply used to search for whatever Pokémon the player may need at any given time.
- Roseanne's Research - Searches for basic Pokémon and/or Energy Cards. Useful in the early game in the absence of Call Energy to get out cards like Baltoy, which need to be evolved as soon as possible.
- Palmer's Contribution - Useful for shuffling KO'd Pokémon back into the deck.
- Luxury Ball - Luxury Ball is like Bebe's Search but not a Supporter; can only be used once per game, though. Useful for getting out Claydol, or whatever else the player may need at any given time.
- Rare Candy - Rare Candy allows a player to skip from a basic Pokémon to a Stage 2, without the Stage 1 Pokémon that is usually necessary. Since Mother Flygon runs two Stage 2 evolution lines, those being Flygon and Nidoqueen, Rare Candy is extremely helpful in getting set up quickly.
- Expert Belt - Expert Belt is a Pokémon Tool card that gives a Pokémon an additional 20 HP and allows its attacks to do 20 more damage. In some decks, Expert Belt is not a good option, as it gives the opponent two prize cards instead of one when the Pokémon Expert Belt is attached to is Knocked Out. However, since Flygon has plenty of HP to begin with, and Nidoqueen provides a healing effect, Expert Belt is a strong addition to this deck.
- Premier Ball - Premier Ball is used to search for Flygon LV.X. It is especially useful if Flygon LV.X has just been knocked out, and the player brings up another Flygon that they wish to level up.
- Pokémon Communication - Pokémon Communication is essentially Bebe's Search in Trainer form. Since Mother Flygon runs a large amount of Pokémon cards, and needs to search for many Evolution cards, this is a useful card to have.
- Broken Time-Space - This card is crucial to setting up quickly, since it can allow players to get Claydol, Nidoqueen, and Flygon out early in the game.
- Call Energy - Useful in the early game for setting up. Also able to be used for any of Flygon's attacks, since Flygon uses only energy.
- Double Colorless Energy - An extremely useful card in Mother Flygon. Allows Flygon to attack with Power Swing after only two turns of energy attachments. Also compatible with Nidoqueen, since Ruthless Tail costs .
- Psychic Energy - Compatible with both Flygon and Nidoqueen. Also provides Nidoqueen with free retreat when attached to Flygon due to its Rainbow Float Poké-BODY.
- Fighting Energy - Provides Claydol with free retreat when attached to Flygon.
The deck list appearing below is not official, and being that this is merely an archetype, a player may wish to change any part of this deck when building his or her own version.
Variable Tech Cards
These are cards that may or may not be in the deck build depending on the player's style:
- Gardevoir - Although this brings the Stage 2 count in the deck to three different lines, Gardevoir can be a very effective tech. With its Telepass Poké-POWER, it can let Mother Flygon abuse multiple Supporter cards each turn, provided the opponent has them in the discard pile. Additionally, it can take advantage of the Psychic and Double Colorless Energy already in the deck with Psychic Lock. Although it decreases the Mother Flygon's initial consistency, it provides a powerful boost once up and running.
- Upper Energy - Upper Energy was used in place of Double Colorless Energy before the release of the HeartGold & SoulSilver expansion. Players wishing to still use as many special energy cards as possible for a chance at attacking faster may still choose to swap out Psychic or Fighting energies for Upper. The downside to this is that Upper Energy is susceptible to Porygon-Z LV.X's Mode Crash and Scizor Prime's Red Armor Poké-BODY.
All cards in Mother Flygon are currently legal for Pokémon Organized Play.